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Shamsi hat-trick helps Titans beat Dolphins and qualify for T20 final

Proteas spinner Tabraiz Shamsi once again made fun of the IPL without realizing its prodigious talent when he took a brilliant hat-trick in the first semi-final of the CSA T20 Challenge, helping the Titans defeat the Dolphins.

Shamsi took 3/15 in his four overs and claimed his hat-trick over two overs as he reduced the Dolphins from 25/3 to 27/6 in one phase before recovering to place a well below average that the Titans, despite an early hiccup, hunted easily enough.

The Dolphins scored just 93 for eight in their 20 overs; the Titans reach their goal by four wickets down and need just over 14 overs.

With the last two balls of the eighth left, Shamsi took the first two of his wickets.

He first had Ruan de Swardt, who was trying to relieve pressure, caught at long range by Donovan Ferreira, then had Bryce Parsons out of the first ball, chopping on a googly that was too close to the body to cut.

Shamsi then saved his best throw for the hat trick at the start of the 10e over, another googly that completely confused the veteran Andile Phehluwayo and threw him through the gate to drive the Titans team wild.

Funnily enough, Shamsi initially didn’t realize he’d picked up a hat-trick when he admitted in a post-innings interview on the side of the pitch that he had been caught off guard.

“It was a lot of fun, but I didn’t even know it was a hat trick because it was split between two overs,” said Shamsi.

“When I took that last wicket, the guys told me it was a hat trick, so it’s a nice feeling, but I’m more happy with the score we limited them to.”

Shamsi added that it is a team effort that has brought the Titans to where they are today and they will be hoping for another one in Sunday’s final.

“The nice thing about our team is that we are not dependent on one or two guys. As you’ve seen throughout the campaign, there was another bowler who was special to us on the day and that was the theme for us with the batting as well,” explains Shamsi.

“So that’s the nice thing about our team, that on the day someone is day they can change the whole game for the team.

“So today I want to give more credit to the sailors who bowled for me. The way they started things for us has really made our job a lot easier.”

The second semifinal on Friday is between Western Province and Paarl Rocks.

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